Aug 24, 2018
Suarez Family Brewery has become something of a North Star for our editorial staff—not to mention many brewers and drinkers around the country—for everything that’s right about craft beer in 2018. Sessionable, delicious beers made by a family in the Hudson Valley that’s part of a small community of farmers and small businesses in the area: What’s not to love? To top it all off, Dan Suarez’s brother owns an essential restaurant in Germantown called Gaskin’s. At the little brewery on U.S. Route 9 across the from the corn fields and housed in an old lighting factory, the Suarez family makes exquisite Pilsners and Pale Ales alongside what they call Country Beers—those that are barrel-aged or wild-fermented, but still every bit as delicate and balanced. Their taproom is family-friendly, in large part because they have a small, young family of their own. How could it not be? Our Editorial Director Austin L. Ray’s profile of the brewery in 2016 was something of a coveted assignment amongst our team, and one of the few that Austin claimed for himself. It’s a moving portrait. You should read it. But like any small business so closely tied to the family that runs it, there’s struggle, too. And it’s about more than just making ends meet. While the beers may be the epitome of balance, balancing one’s life is every bit as difficult and necessary. Managing the start-up pace of a small, hands-on brewery, expanding the market for those beers via delivery runs to New York City, raising a toddler, and maintaining a busy taproom that’s increasingly becoming a destination for beer fans? These things, perhaps even more than trying to crack the code on these so-called “crispy little beers,” are what’s keeping Taylor and Dan Suarez up at night. Not that you’d believe they struggle with anything. Their reputation for being very relaxed, chill folks with a small town brewery is, at least on the surface, the epitome of the small brewer dream in America. Taking a deeper look, as we do today, will only make you love them more.